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To think if you cannot add one half to one quarter you really should not be in teaching

(298 Posts)
mrgrouper Wed 13-Jul-16 13:43:47

I am starting teacher training in September and so have joined some teacher training Facebook groups. We all have to pass professional skills tests in literacy and numeracy. The tests are pretty easy but there is a mental arithmetic test that a lot of trainees are panicking on. A woman has posted that she is doing the mock test and it claims one half plus one quarter is three quarters and she has no idea how the examiners had worked this out. She is not training to be a maths teacher but surely all teachers should know basic maths. I knew this stuff aged 7.

penisbeakerlaminateflooringetc Wed 13-Jul-16 13:46:36

Maybe she's suffering with dyscalculia?

mrgrouper Wed 13-Jul-16 13:47:32

perhaps she is. She never mentioned that

PurpleDaisies Wed 13-Jul-16 13:50:52

Is this primary or secondary teaching? I can't imagine that outside of maths/science many teachers need to add fractions without a calculator.

Noodledoodledoo Wed 13-Jul-16 13:50:58

Depends what she is looking to teach - I am a Maths teacher and coached a lot of my colleagues on my course through the numeracy test.

Lots haven't done Maths since 16 when they walked out of their last lesson with joy - thinking they would never have to do it again.

If you are training for Primary then I would be concerned, but if they are training for a secondary subject which doesn't involve maths a basic numeracy level is good but I can see why people don't understand the detail they are tested on!

PurpleDaisies Wed 13-Jul-16 13:51:51

Don't forget, many of these people won't have done maths since GCSE (which could be years ago) and they're just really rusty rather than innumerate.

LunaLoveg00d Wed 13-Jul-16 13:51:53

I know someone who has passed a degree in order to become a secondary teacher and can't pass the literacy test. She isn't dyslexic or dys- anything else, she's just rubbish at spelling, grammar and language.

Someone who struggles so badly with numbers that they cannot work out that half plus a quarter is three quarters has been extremely poorly advised to go into teaching in the first place. There is no place in teaching for people who struggle with the very basics.

Witchend Wed 13-Jul-16 13:54:24

I knew someone training to be an English teacher who admitted she'd never understood apostrophe rules. I did find that strange.

LunaLoveg00d Wed 13-Jul-16 13:54:57

Oh and the numeracy test for teaching isn't trigonometry, calculus or advanced mathematics. It is BASIC arithmetic of adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing, along with a section on interpreting data from graphs or charts. It's the sort of thing an 11 year old would be able to make a very good attempt at.

LemonBreeland Wed 13-Jul-16 13:54:58

I find the inability to answer a question as simple as that quite worrying. And I think this is exactly why they brought in the literacy and numeracy tests. I have teacher friends who despair at some of the student teachers they get in their classrooms.

mrgrouper Wed 13-Jul-16 13:56:16

It is primary teaching. I was actually pulled out of my primary school aged 8 as I refused to go in because the teacher could not multiply one half and one half. my mum had to move me to another school.

BalloonSlayer Wed 13-Jul-16 13:58:04

I can't imagine that outside of maths/science many teachers need to add fractions without a calculator.

Well if you set your students a little test in class, during the marking of which, students being students, marks awarded end up being broken down into fractions ("I got half the answer right, Miss, can I have half a mark?") then you run the risk of coming unstuck.

PurpleDaisies Wed 13-Jul-16 13:58:08

Ok, that's a big problem for a primary teacher.

Let's hope she's either very motivated to teach herself the skills she needs before starting training or she doesn't get a place.

BackforGood Wed 13-Jul-16 13:58:13

I agree with Lemon.

Mov1ngOn Wed 13-Jul-16 14:00:16

That's bizarre. My daughters doing this at 7.

I can imagine maybe if teaching secondary
..but I want to live in the illusion all my kids teachers are well.educated.

BalloonSlayer Wed 13-Jul-16 14:00:59

Lots haven't done Maths since 16 when they walked out of their last lesson with joy - thinking they would never have to do it again.

I can't imagine anyone who hated lessons in a basic subject that much wanting to be a primary school teacher. Although I suppose they might be motivated by trying to make the school days of their students a lot nicer than their own.

ItMustBeBedtimeSurely Wed 13-Jul-16 14:02:17

Yes, big problem. I wouldn't want them teaching my child. Same for teachers who can't use correct grammar. Tbh, unless there's a SN, it displays either a lack of intelligence or a lack of exposure to normal experiences.

BalloonSlayer Wed 13-Jul-16 14:02:33

Actually OP, was it really that particular sum?

'Cos I would be worried that person couldn't tell the time if they couldn't do that one.

DrDreReturns Wed 13-Jul-16 14:04:09

Doesn't surprise me. In my experience a lot of primary teachers aren't very fond of maths, at least when I was at school in the eighties. She will have to teach this stuff, so if she can't do it she shouldn't be on the course.

Scarydinosaurs Wed 13-Jul-16 14:07:29

0.5 + 0.25 = 0.75, right?

I must be really thick or reading this wrong. I fear that it is because I am thick. Disclaimer: I am on lots of medication and this could be impacting upon my ability to add confused

MauledbytheTigers Wed 13-Jul-16 14:09:58

No sorry but not knowing 1/2 + 1/4 is 3/4 isn't rusty, it's innumerate. I'm with OP, I'm no maths genius (only have GCSE) but I have a basic grasp of fundamentals. And unless she is planning to teach a specialist subject where it doesn't matter, e.g a foreign language, I wouldn't want someone with such a lack of basic skills teaching my children. That's primary stuff.

There are great teachers out there but from my own experience it seems to be a choice people who didn't know what else they wanted to do try their hand at. When I think about some of the people I know who are teachers, it's frightening.

ironrooster Wed 13-Jul-16 14:12:17

I wouldn't be at all happy knowing that a primary school teacher couldn't do basic maths. It's not the right job for them imo.

ChunkyMonkey4321 Wed 13-Jul-16 14:12:30

Dinosaurs - in with you. I thought the post was taking the piss for her thinking it was 3/4 but no- that's the correct answer but OPs acquaintance couldn't understand how it was correct

HopeArden Wed 13-Jul-16 14:12:42

You are right scary. A half plus a quarter is three quarters (0.75)

Scarydinosaurs Wed 13-Jul-16 14:13:40

Oh thank fuck- she is saying she doesn't know how it CAN be 3/4!

I started to really doubt everything I knew.

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